Here! is a Burchfield Penney Art Center rearview window to the living culture that shaped this region. It is one of the major exhibitions that celebrates The Center's 50th anniversary, a premiere conception through photographs, paintings, prints and sculpture selected to capture a glimpse of the complex culture of Western New York.
What has The Burchfield Penney Art Center at SUNY Buffalo State learned about the regional culture from its collection? From the collections of others?
How is the metro Buffalo community unique, and how did we develop that identity? What are the ideas through which people know us?
These questions shape an exhibition forum that aspires to gain greater understanding of the base from which the community now moves forward.
Dr. Anthony Bannon, the Center Executive Director and co-curator of the show, explained: Here! looks at the cultural piece-parts that have represented our region and then adds up what these elements have meant to our community and become a means through which we name and know ourselves. The project also seeks in-put from viewers, who are asked to submit copies of photographs or drawings the viewer believes represent an aspect of the culture we create for ourselves in Western New York. A pictures with a brief explanation may be brought into The Center for installation as a part of the show. The copy pictures will not be returned, but may become a part of The Center's archival record of the exhibition."
Scott Propeack, associate director, chief curator and co-creator of the exhibition, explained further: "We are presenting a visual poem to the region, something not easily expressed in words. The exhibition brings forth the living echoes that meaningfully balance the ways we have represented what it is like to live here.
"Burchfield Penney staff at every level was asked to choose what for them was an iconic item that represents elements of the Western New York life cycle. The exhibition is organized into idea bins - such as dawn, death, struggle, work, and play. Each grouping will provide a distinct slice of the diverse communities we seek to represent."